It’s a beautiful morning. Not much different from any other day in these parts although the fog lifted off the Pennsylvania fields enough to give us a fiery sunrise. We went through the same routine, my wife hustling to get to work, our toddler in fits every other second because she loves sleep as much as we do and she’s feeling a little ill. Wife out the door in a whirlwind of kisses and hugs, kid dropped off at daycare….now it’s just me in the car with my thoughts in silence.
That fucking game. Jesus Christ.
I’m admittedly not a huge baseball fan during the regular season. I just don’t find interest in it, especially while the Phillies are struggling. But the playoffs? The World Series? It doesn’t matter who’s playing, I’m right there for it. Analyzing stats, learning players names if I don’t know the team already, sucked into every inning like the universe revolves around each pitch.
This World Series was the best one ever.
The Cubs, coming back from a 3-1 game deficit, no World Series wins in 108 years and 2 curses looming over the franchise, lead the game 6-3 when I finally got to turn it on at the bottom of the 7th. Then the innings just ticked on. Bottom of the 8th, Cleveland tied it. Bottom of the 9th, still tied after some wild pitches and emotionally confusing at-bats.
I’m pulling for the Cubs. Why? I’ve never liked Chicago sports, I’m pretty “meh” when it comes to them. But I’ve always had a disdain for Cleveland. I don’t know why aside from a mix of things on the outset: I don’t like Lebron James, and the Cavs stole a championship away from my Warriors. The Browns have always been terrible. The Cleveland Baseball team has a culturally offensive mascot/name and refuses to change. If that’s not enough for you, consider this: when it comes to the World Series, I love baseball, and I pick the team I want on gut instinct and emotion more than anything else.
I’ll never forget where I was, sitting on the couch watching the game streamed via Periscope. I had just gotten back home from running out to get my wife a soda. Listening to the game on the radio as the Cubs have three outs to make to win it. Then two outs. Then right before I shut the car off to go inside, one out left.
It’s a beautiful morning. When you’re up before everybody else you get to witness the grace of nature and the simpleness of humanity as it slowly awakes. You can smell clean air for a while, before everyone on the block starts up their car. Everywhere has its own smell it seems.
I wonder what that field smelled like. I’ve been on a few in my life, sometimes it’s more grassy, sometimes more dirt. Plus the rain that kicked in at the bottom of the 9th probably stirred some things around.
The ground was wet when he caught that ball, but it made no difference. All you had to do was look at his face as he saw it coming toward him. Simple. They do these drills in practice all the time. A ball driven between Second Base and the Shortstop. Second Basemen stays on just in case, First Baseman with one foot on the bag leans in to read the throw, Shortstop gets the ball to make the play.
He threw a little high, put a little extra heat on it to beat the runner. First Baseman throws is arm up to make the catch, and soon after his other arm comes up to meet it, already knowing before the ball hit the glove what kind of morning he was going to have today.
It’s a beautiful morning.